Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:48 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 9:16 pm

Controversial missed call preserves 'Cuse win

By Jeff Borzello

Some questionable calls that change the outcome of a game are judgment calls that could technically go either way.

The non-call on Syracuse center Baye Keita’s goaltending was not one of them.

With six seconds left and Syracuse leading by two, West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli grabbed an offensive rebound after Darryl Bryant missed a 3-pointer. He went up for what looked to be an easy follow – but Keita came out of nowhere and knocked it away after it hit the backboard.

Seemed like a clear call, but there was not a single whistle from the three-man crew of Karl Hess, Gene Steratore and Brian O’Connell. This wasn’t one of the goaltending calls where a shot kind of looks like it’s on the way down depending on the angle – this clearly hit the backboard first, before Keita swatted it away.

A contested Kevin Jones 3-pointer missed at the buzzer, as Syracuse escaped with a 63-61 win. Sure, there would have been six seconds left, even if the goaltending was called. Syracuse would have had a chance to win. That still doesn’t erase the fact it was a horrible missed call.

"It's inexcusable. It's inexcusable," head coach Bob Huggins said, according to RapidReporter Patrick Southern.

This kind of thing is only going to increase the complaints that referees are overworked. For example, let’s look at head official Karl Hess’ schedule for January, courtesy of Statsheet.com. 

  • January 1: Villanova at Marquette
  • January 2: Old Dominion at James Madison
  • January 3: Alabama at Georgia Tech
  • January 4: UTEP at Marshall
  • January 5: Louisiana-Monroe at Florida Atlantic
  • January 7: Miami (Fl.) at Virginia
  • January 9: Cincinnati at Georgetown
  • January 10: Florida State at Virginia Tech
  • January 11: Syracuse at Villanova
  • January 12: George Mason at Drexel
  • January 14: NC State at Wake Forest
  • January 15: Duke at Clemson
  • January 16: Louisville at Marquette
  • January 18: Old Dominion at Towson
  • January 19: Virginia at Georgia Tech
  • January 21: Connecticut at Tennessee
  • January 22: Samford at UNC-Greensboro
  • January 23: Drexel at William & Mary
  • January 25: Duke at Maryland
  • January 26: NC State at North Carolina
  • January 28: West Virginia at Syracuse

He’s had seven days off this month – and I’m assuming he’s traveled on at least four or five of them. Throw in the fact he’s refereeing some high-intensity basketball and it’s pretty clear he’s overworked.

Until that problem is taken care of, expect more of these calls.

Or, rather, don't expect any calls.

Posted on: January 11, 2012 9:49 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:53 am

Podcast: Does CBB not have 25 great players?

By Matt Norlander

There's a grouping of surprising college basketball teams who've yet to feel the swoon of conference play. But are they for real? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman present their cases. They also discuss UConn's Final Four chances, why they'll come together.

There's also the matter of the Mountain West, which I believe is the fourth-best league in hoops, better than the ACC and Pac-12. Goodman and Parrish can't quite go there. It's a longer podcast today, 42 minutes, and at this point you know what you're getting on the Wednesday show: unfiltered bickering mixed in with some smart analysis.

  • From the beginning: We had to record this Tuesday afternoon because Goodman is travelling to New York today. We started talking the Wooden Award ballots, primarily the bickering behind them.
  • 6:39: Compiling a list of 25 worthy players for this list proved to be tough. Isn't that a bad sign? Parrish equates it to the bubble.
  • 7:40: UConn is going to get it together, meaning they're going to resemble a team most will see making the Final Four, Elite Eight at the worst.
  • 12:51: UNLV landed Khem Birch and damn are the Rebels getting it done immediately with Dave Rice.
  • 16:35: I make the case the Mountain West is the fourth-best league, top to bottom. My superiors scoff in my general direction. Actually, they do more than that.
  • 19:54: The A10 is a jumbled mess -- can it afford to be one?
  • 23:37: Who's for real? There are six teams out there. "I think they're a real basketball team" makes me laugh much more than it should.
  • 32:08: The final 10 minutes ... it's just a bunch of gabbing. Goodman's schedule, Parrish feeling slighted I didn't ask about his schedule, me lamenting the most epic #whitepeopleproblem of all-time, me vs. Bob Huggins.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:07 am

Night Court: No BCS title game in these parts

Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Certainly not the BCS title game. Cincinnati bounced back from Saturday’s last-second loss to St. John’s with an impressive four-point win at Georgetown. The game was tied with 1:07 remaining, when Cashmere Wright hit two free throws. Cincinnati went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 67 seconds, holding off the Hoyas, which lost their second straight game. Sean Kilpatrick had 27 points for Cincinnati.

Win to brag about: Monday’s game against West Virginia was a game Connecticut should have won. And the Huskies did, 64-57. But the way they did it had to give them confidence going forward. Andre Drummond had his best game of the season, putting up 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while Jeremy Lamb scored 25. Connecticut also held the Mountaineers to 32.3 percent shooting.

Loss to hide from: There weren’t any terrible losses on Monday, but Oklahoma is reeling and needed a solid performance against Oklahoma State. The Sooners didn’t get it, trailing by as many as 17 points en route to a 72-65 loss. Le’Bryan Nash had 21 points for Oklahoma State, which has now won four of its last five against Oklahoma. Oklahoma is now 0-3 in the Big 12 after going 10-2 in non-conference play.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Matthew Dellavedova hit six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points, helping Saint Mary’s beat San Francisco, 87-72. Dellavedova also dished out four assists and grabbed six rebounds. His teammate Stephen Holt came one rebound short of a triple-double, getting 11 points and 10 assists.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: West Virginia’s Darryl Bryant had been rolling lately, scoring at least 25 points in three of his last four games. On Monday against Connecticut, however, the senior guard shot 2-for-13 from the field and finished with just eight points. Bryant was 1-for-7 from 3-point range. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 59.1. That’s the percentage Georgetown shot from the field, but turning the ball over 17 times did the Hoyas in against Cincinnati.
  • 24. Wyoming has now defeated Idaho State twice this season, with both victories coming by 24 points.
  • 17-3. That’s the run Connecticut went on after head coach Jim Calhoun picked up a technical foul in the second half.

Three other notable results:

  1. Norfolk State improved to 4-0 in the MEAC, the Spartans’ best start since 2004-05, with a 68-48 win over Howard.
  2. Mississippi Valley State beat Alabama A&M on the road, moving to 3-0 in the SWAC.
  3. Air Force overcame a slow start to beat Texas-Pan American, 67-50. 


  • In its first game without suspended head coach Todd Bozeman, Morgan State lost to Savannah State, 57-55.
  • Former Oklahoma transfer Ray Willis had 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals for North Carolina Central, as it beat Bethune-Cookman.
  • A couple of recent transfers made their announcements. Khem Birch (Pittsburgh) decided on UNLV as his next destination, while Jamal Branch (Texas A&M) opted for St. John’s.

Photo: AP

Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:06 pm

Kevin Jones is not Pete Maravich, by the way

Jones has been very good, but he had a season-low five rebounds Monday night. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

HARTFORD, Conn. — Kevin Jones is in the midst of a First Team Big East campaign. He’s been the type of player this season most expected he’d be last season, when Jones was seen by some as the 2010-11 preseason league player of the year. He’s been a joy to follow, and the kid’s not yet gotten his due, by and large.

But he can’t live life 22 feet from the hoop. Kevin Jones is not Pete Maravich. And what Maravich was to LSU Jones is not to WVU. Why am I comparing Jones to one of the best, most creative, dazzling players in the history of basketball? I’m not. I made the mistake of asking WVU coach Bob Huggins if Jones taking eight 3s (he made three of them Monday night) is a worrisome thing for the Mountaineers. Huggins then said this.

“I don’t know, did Press Maravich worry about that with Pete? You’re an idiot if you don’t throw the ball to your best player. Are you worried Calhoun’s going to wear out Jeremy Lamb? Part of what we do is KJ shoots 3s.”

If KJ is going to shoot eight 3s per game, it’s unlikely West Virginia’s going to find happiness. He’s only matched his long-bomb output from Monday night once from earlier this season — but you can afford to shoot 3-of-8 from 3 against Alcorn State. When Jones shot seven 3s? A loss to Seton Hall. Six? WVU fell to Mississippi State.

Monday night, Jones was truly pushed out of the paint for the first time this year too, snaring a season-low five rebounds (he averages 12) in West Virginia’s 64-57 Mountaineers loss to UConn. Jones, who said is confidence is way up this year, admitted he “was assuming the shooting role more than the rebound role.” Jones is at his best when he’s everywhere, not acquiescing and merely taking what the other team gives. Sometimes teams give for a reason, a good reason. UConn does have a terrific front line, but the versatile WVU forward averaged 11.4 boards against Mississippi State, Miami, Baylor, Kansas State and Seton Hall — all teams with plenty of respectable, if not great, talent down low.

Jones was barked out of the paint by recently underwhelming Alex Oriakhi, and by Andre Drummond, who had the best game of his college career. The future NBA lottery pick was smiling throughout the second half as his game and his team’s momentum escalated. Drummond finished with 20 points, 11 boards, three blocks and two steals.

“Coaches said to be physical and he (Jones) won’t like it much because a lot of players don’t like getting pushed around,” Drummond said.  

Jones and West Virginia gave it away down the stretch, giving up the ghost unofficially with 4:58 to go, when Jeremy Lamb sunk a triple coming off a Jones turnover, giving UConn a lead they’d never hand back. Six and a half minutes prior to that, the ‘Eers had a 10-point advantage. Huggins said his freshmen panicked — and they did — but with Drummond in foul trouble, only Deniz Kilicli tried to make things happen inside.

You get Jones in there, the Huskies (already in the bonus) might make the game tighter, and even give back the lead in the final three minutes.  Huggins criticized his learning guards, when Jones, who was good but tunnel-visioned in how he wanted to score tonight, couldn’t adapt inside.

“Just dribble it and dribble it and dribble it and dribble it — and we don’t pass the ball. We don’t have Jeremy Lamb. We don’t have a guy who can create the good shot,” Huggins said. “If those guys were quarterbacks, they’d be terrible quarterbacks, because they just look at the first option.”

If we’re going to fully examine why WVU is flawed, Truck Bryant also must be drawn into the picture. Because while I’m focusing on what Jones didn’t do tonight, Bryant gave a patented Bad Bryant performance, and in the wake of some really nice ones the past two weeks. He was 2 for 13, “forced a bunch of stuff,” according to Huggins, and really didn’t help the offense out at all. There was no offense for much of the second half for WVU. Credit to UConn, sure, but if the Huskies knew nothing would happen inside, and the frosh guards weren’t able to handle it, then Jones had to do more than roll about the perimeter.

“It’s hard, and we’re not going to get it until there’s more games, but we need experience more than anything,” Jones said. “We’re up 10. We need to know when to take good shots and when to pass the ball around and pick.”

Jones wasn’t distraught afterward. He took the loss well because he sees the youth on this team. He said he takes the loss personally, but remains as confident as he’s ever been.

“Win or lose, I’m always confident with my team, but I’m bothered because this is the third game we’ve given away,” Jones said.

I think the senior’s got to get that final piece into this repertoire. To be an undisputed First Team Big East player, he’s going to have to take games before the freshman and Bryant are able to give them away. That means playing more inside and not taking the burden upon himself to shoot 33 percent of his team's 3s, as he did in Monday's loss.


Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 2:18 pm

West Virginia's Murray arrested for possession

By Jeff Borzello and Jeff Goodman

UPDATE, 2:17 p.m. ET. Bob Huggins released the following statement. It reads in full: “I’ve been alerted about the situation and the matter will be handled internally.”

West Virginia junior forward Aaric Murray was arrested Thursday morning in Philadelphia and charged with possession of narcotics. 

Police spokesperson Tanya Little confirmed that the 22-year-old Murray, a Philadelphia native who is sitting out this season after transferring from La Salle, was arrested at 9:50 a.m. on the 1700 block of South 20th St. and is currently being held on bail.

Calls to West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who is in Las Vegas for a tournament, weren't immediately returned. The Mountaineers play Missouri State in the Las Vegas Classic Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. 

The 6-foot-10 center, a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds during his sophomore season at La Salle. Murray chose West Virginia over Oklahoma State and Kansas last spring, and was sitting out this year due to NCAA transfer regulations.

In high school, Murray attended the Glen Mills School, which is for adjudicated delinquents, normally placed there by the courts. At La Salle, Murray and head coach John Giannini did not see eye to eye on many occasions and Murray - a Top 50 recruit coming out of high school - was benched at times.

Photo: US Presswire 

Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:05 am

Podcast: Let's break out the Pom Poms for Ken Pom

By Matt Norlander

Ken Pomeroy houses the stat sanctuary that is kenpom.com. It's become a go-to place for fans and writers and coaches alike, yet plenty of folk still want to resist getting smarter/well-informed about the game we love. 

Pomeroy makes his second podcast appearance to discuss how much information and interpretation from the data can and should be gleaned after one month of the season has passed us by. There are trends to take note of, but where should the line be drawn? Among other topics: unabashedly bashing Jeff Goodman, who is not yet a big believer in KenPom stats, and looking at just how historically bad Utah is this year. For a major-conference team, they are off to a start we've seldom seen before.

If you'd like to know why the Big Ten is the best conference so far, that's included as well. Get smarter, get to understand the game better and see why tempo-free isn't that daunting. No calculators required.

The counting begins:
  • From the beginning: We needlessly explain the process to Goodman, who I know will take the time to listen to this.
  • 2:42: So, we're more than a month into the season. How much can we take from the stats we have right now? And there's a key component to remember when look at this year's stats, too -- previous years' trends.
  • 8:31: Do tempo-free stats and trends lend themselves well to predicting outcomes?
  • 12:16: What are the most "important" stats to be tracking in this new era? Some are more indicative than others.
  • 15:07: We move on to talking actual teams, actual action and on-court stuff. First to be address: Utah, which is having a miserable start to its season.
  • 20:33: Vanderbilt must be discussed again, this time because Pomeroy and I differ on how good this team ultimately is.
  • 24:56: Why the Big Ten is definitively the best league in college basketball.
  • 28:42: Why Henry Sims is playing amongst the best hoop in the nation right now. ALERT: GOODMAN LIKELY BREAKING HIS COMPUTER BY THIS POINT.
  • 30:23: Podcast ends with some answers from listeners' questions.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts go up here and on iTunes. The Wednesday show is dedicated to keeping the egos of CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish inflated. Mondays and Fridays are for the real people to come on. Here's the iTunes link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. If you're still going strong and hanging on to a Zune, then, yes, you can listen on that as well.

Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:00 pm

Your SEC/Big East Challenge guide

By Matt Norlander

What do you want in a preview? I've been self-assigned (is that even possible?) to give you the rundown on all of the SEC and Big East games coming up over the next 72 hours, and I wasn't quite sure where to go with this. After all, these are early-December games, half of them are afterthoughts, and preview material is usually come-and-go outside of preseason and NCAA tournament talk.

So I looked at the games and decided I'll just give you whatever random thought comes off the top of my head. A conversational tone works best here, since there are no real true tilts of consequence involved outside of the fantastic ones going on Friday night Louisville and Syracuse. (I'll be at the latter.) If there's a stat sited, I do not have it memorized. Those I looked up. I'm not huge on predictions, so you won't find those here.

All this said, I do expect these 12 games to be better than what the ACC and Big Ten gave us Tuesday and Wednesday night, by the way. If you have any other curiosities that go beyond this post, check our SEC/Big East Challenge page, which has the history of this event and stats that go along with it.


Providence at South Carolina (7 ET): Oh this is just bad. Providence is a few years away from true relevancy, and Darrin Horn is already coaching for his job at South Carolina. NEXT.

St. John's at Kentucky (7:30 ET): Wildcats get the Johnnies tonight, less than 48 hours before Carolina comes in. I'd say St. John's would have a chance, except they're playing Kentucky. Kind of a problem. SJU doesn't have one senior on its roster and head coach Steve Lavin will not be making the trip. Kentucky will be looking ahead to UNC, but the 'Cats should win by a minimum of 23.4 points.

Ole Miss at DePaul (9 ET): Have a sick interest in this game if for no other reason than I want to know how many people show up to watch it. Have to say, the fact these teams are a combined 9-2 is a welcomed surprise.

Georgetown at Alabama (9:30 ET): Best game of the night, period. Are you sure what Georgetown is yet? We do know the Hoyas take care of the ball very well. That early trend could be bucked in Tuscaloosa, though, because Alabama is on its way to being a top-five defensive team in the country. Teams are shooting a 35.7 effective field goal percentage against the Tide. Second-worst in the country.


Florida at Syracuse (7 ET): I'll keep this strictly to basketball, because I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do that one I get there to cover the game. Basically, I'm intrigued as hell. I love Bradley Beal's (right, with Billy Donovan) game. I'm still not sold on Florida's four-guard look, even if Patric Young gets his chances to play janitor when that happens. No Erik Murphy for the Gators means they're less dynamic. I like Syracuse is a really fun one. With the Orange, you're just never sure who's going to be the player that has the big game. Looks like someone's going to need to decidedly have a huge night to beat a team a lot of people like to make the Final Four.

Cincinnati at Georgia (7 ET): Car-wreck factor has be interested. When will Cinci start playing at a level that's indicative of the talent it has on this team? Georgia's in a third-gear year, I think.

Vanderbilt at Louisville (9 ET): What do you think about this one? Vanderbilt certainly not expected to win it (I haven't checked, but I'd put the Cards at about -4.5 here). Louisville's still not at full strength, nor is Vandy. Goodman's going to be at this game. I think this one adds up to little, even if it's nice in the moment. Because come late February, both these teams will have personnel on the floor that didn't play in this game. If Vandy/'Ville are vying for the 3-seed line and you want to give the winner of this the bid, by all means, but beyond that there won't be much long-term effect from this game. I think John Jenkins struggles in this one, too.

Auburn at Seton Hall (9 ET): Oh, get it out of my face, please.


Arkansas at UConn (3:15 ET): The Hogs are without Marshon Powell and so I don't see how Mike Anderson's new team keeps this within 20. UConn's due for a really impressive, really big win. I want to see how Alex Oriakhi plays in front of the home crowd in Hartford. Oriakhi's been public with this playing-time situation. UConn will grow and stumble a little more in December, but I'm betting we're putting this team in the highest echelon by New Year's Day.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee (5:15 ET): I'd call this game the biggest true toss-up of any listed here. I'm down on Pitt this year in regard to most others. A win here would be very uplifting for Jamie Dixon's team. Same can be said for Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee, who's probably still punching the pillow after his Vols couldn't steal that game against Memphis in Maui.

LSU at Rutgers (7 ET): Just a couple of truly nondescript, non-enthralling 4-3 BCS conference teams. I think I'd rather put away my summer clothes into storage.

West Virginia at Mississippi State (9 ET): The final game of the Challenge, it's the kind of game MSU should win without controversy if it wants to be top-20 caliber. WVU is down, considerably down, this season. The Bulldogs have twice as much talent on this team -- and a lot more size, even if Denis Kilicli will bruise it up down low with Renardo Sidney and/or Arnett Moultrie. The flip side: Huggins has been known to get his team to steal wins in these kind of spots.

Photos: AP
Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 5:13 pm

Senderoff gets improbable 1st win against Huggins

By Jeff Goodman

This wasn't about Rob Senderoff, the adversity and how his first career win came against a future Hall of Famer in Bob Huggins.

"We have four seniors and I know how long it had been," Kent State's rookie head coach said following the season-opening win over West Virginia. "We hadn't talked about it, but I wanted them to start the year the right way."

What Senderoff was referring to was the fact that Kent State, a program that has tasted no shortage of success over the past decade, got its first road win over a BCS team in 37 years on Tuesday.

Senderoff is thankful - to his wife and all that have supported him after he was fired for his role in the Kelvin Sampson mess.

"But my focus was all about my team," he said.

His team played extremely well. The ESPN cameras were on him at halftime when he said that West Virginia would "crumble under the pressure."

The cameras also caught him when he leaped (OK, that may be a little strong) in the air following a picturesque alley-oop in the second half.

"I'm a little embarrassed about jumping up and down," Senderoff said. "First of all, with the lack of athleticism. I also talk to the guys about keeping their composure - and obviously I got caught up in the moment a little bit."

Senderoff spoke about how hard his team played on Monday - and how they came out with the right mentality.

He also praised Huggins for agreeing to play the Golden Flashes.

"Very few would do what he did - especially with such a young team," Senderoff said. "Look at how many high-major teams played mid-major programs today on the marathon. We really appreciate that."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com